Northern Chile vs Northern Argentina?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Northern Chile vs Northern Argentina?

1. Posted by mshaw1983 (Budding Member 11 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Hi all,
I need to get to Santiago from Bolivia and I was wondering whether to go via Northern Chile or Northern Argentina, via Salta/Mendoza, any suggestions?


2. Posted by solveig (Full Member 53 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Personally I would prefer nothern Argentina. The chilean side is dessert
(Atacama) and the argentinian side is more green, but also has lovely
rock structure, like those near Cafayate. Also the argentinian side is
clearly cheaper - about a factor of two or so. However, if you have never been to a dessert before, you might like to see such landscape.
Near San Pedro Atacama (Chile), there are several turist attractions.
I must admit that I have seen much prettier desserts and I got disappointed. On the other hand I got positively surprised by the
beauty of the Argentian side near Salta/Jujuy.

cheers, Sol

3. Posted by Macachae (Full Member 240 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

of course... Salta and Jujuy...
nothing like the tradition and lovely view, nice people, and good food and wine...
look Salta(capital) have an historic downtown and the night at Balcarce street is a must.
Going around Cerrillos, Cafayate, Molinos and another pretties little cities is a good time for chat with simple people and pictures...
If you want to visit indians areas and very green "yungas" you have to go for Salvador Mazza and stop in Tartagal or better Mosconi(my city) and so on...
read more info at. Enjoy!!

4. Posted by findemundo (Full Member 127 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Just to play devil's advocate - I differ on the Argentina vs. Chile route into Bolivia. San Pedro is, without question, a gringo tourist trap. I recall Lonely Planet calling it Adobelandia with lots of gringos. But.. it's a gret place to start a one-way three-day tour into the Salar de Uyuni.

The Salar is an out-of-this-world, mind-blowing and body-numbing experience. You can see salt flats in other places, but since you're so close, why not see the flats, gysers, weird open-air graveyards, amazing colors contrasted by either blazing white salt plains or stunningly blue skies. Does it show I was smitten with the place. And I can't forget to mention the salt hotel, the Isla de Pescado, quinoa fields...

When you get to Uyuny, get out, as fast as you can. It's the dullest town around. Catch a bus to Potosi and enjoy more high-altitude fun before plunging into Bolivia's jungle. Hope that helps - or at least gives you something to think about.

5. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Did a few days in San Pedro de Atacama back in March.
A gringo tourist trap for sure, but then again that is what the place exists for.
Unreal scenery (check out pics in my gallery), and wish I had taken the 4 day trip to Uyuni in Bolivia.
In early 2007 I'm going to go the Salta route to San Pedro and do the Uyuni trip come hell or highwater.
I'm sure both routes are equally worthy.


6. Posted by tingo (Full Member 94 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

take the 3 day jeep trip from Uyuni to San Pedro de atacama to cross the andes. Amazing scenery, lakes in all colors with flamingos, desert in all colors. For me this was the best trip in South America.

7. Posted by marlis (Travel Guru 1167 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Salta,Valle de Luna.....
the North of Argentina many graet places.
friendly people,excelent food and wine and music and,and...will go back when the Train de Nubes is replaced.
From the north of Chile I know only the coast from the Peruvien Border to Santiago.
Chile is more expensive then Argentina.
sunny greetings